May 7, 2020 - UPDATE
Dear Moab Baptist Church Family and Friends,
According the Phased Guidelines established by Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the State of Utah, Grand County, and the City of Moab are in the Moderate Risk Phase (orange) – still!  While this does not mean a “free-for-all”, it does remove many of the “mass gathering” restrictions.  I continue to closely monitor the and websites (several times each day) for changes that affect our church.
Please know that we are OPEN for services.  Ya’ll can come on back now!
We have social-distanced seating (6’ spacing) available.
We continue to live-stream all the services (Sundays – 10AM, 11AM, 6:30 PM; Wednesdays – 7PM).
We have made a huge effort to keep you informed and updated with the ever-evolving changes that are coming with this whole COVID-19 “stuff” (and the changes are NOT going to stop for the foreseeable future).
May I challenge you to make a concerted effort to return to services?  Let me remind you that the live-streaming is a “stop-gap”, but is especially beneficial to those who cannot – for whatever reason – be in our church services, and the reducing of people in the services was temporary.
It goes almost without saying, if you are age 65 or older, or have a compromised immune system, seriously consider watching the live-streaming services.
In an attempt to comply with the Governor’s Guidelines, I ask the following take place for those worshipping in our services:
1. Family/ household units need to sit together, maintaining at least 6’ from others (for the children, a “sermon survival kit”, complete with crayons, paper, snack, etc. are provided)
2. Face coverings are strongly encouraged, especially if you cannot maintain at least 6’ from other people
3. Please do not shake hands or hug
4. Wash hands with soap; use hand sanitizer
5. Provided hymnals and Bibles are an option, however, words to hymns and choruses are on the screen
6. Offering plates are available, but not passed; a black, locked, giving box is located inside the back door of the church
7. Nursery is not staffed, but if parents or family members need to utilize it, they may
8. Children’s Church (Sundays – 11AM) is not meeting (for now, BUT is resuming soon)
9. The Teen Bible Class & Children’s Sunday School Classes (Sundays – 10AM) are not meeting (for now, BUT are resuming soon)
10. Sunday’s van shuttle is not running (for now, BUT is resuming soon)
Visitors are welcome.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
Your friend,
Pastor Howe
May 1, 2020
Dear Moab Baptist Church Family and Friends,
Good news!  On April 29th, Utah’s Governor, Gary Herbert, issued an Executive Order, that was effective today, moving the state COVID-19 public health risk status from red (high risk) to orange (moderate risk).  This Executive Order adopts the guidelines for moderate risk for individuals and businesses [and churches too] found in the “Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation (version 4.0)”.  This Executive Order applies to all counties within the state, and supersedes all local public health orders, except where exceptions are granted by the Governor in consultation with the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission.  The full order may be read here.
Public Health order # SEUHD 2020-5GC, issued April 30, 2020, is now in effect for the Southeast Utah Health District (Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties), until May 29, 2020, with review to take place by May 15, 2020.  The full order may be read here.
Pertaining to church services, this health order defers to the “Phased Guidelines…(version 4.0) – (p.6) CHURCH SERVICES…Follow all social guidelines outlined on page 5, Spacing between immediate household groups, Alternate schedules to accommodate smaller gatherings where social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, Recommend streamed services to households”.
The “CHURCH SERVICES” section was not in the previous versions of the Phased Guidelines until about Thursday morning, April 30.  This is an answer to prayer.
A Reminder:
As a reminder, the Governor’s Phased Guidelines suggest the following (which are NOT new):
a. General public takes extreme precautions
b. Stay 6 feet away from others when outside…unless not possible
c. Follow strict hygiene standards, including:
i. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
ii. Use hand sanitizer frequently
iii. Cover coughs or sneezes (it is allergy season, UGH!)
iv. Regularly clean high-touch surfaces (e.g. door handles, counters, light switches, remote controls, restroom surfaces)
d. Do not shake hands
e. Face coverings (e.g. mask, scarf, gaiter, bandana) worn in settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain:
i. Change or launder the cloth face coverings routinely
ii. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
f. In-person interactions limited to individual households and those who have been following recommended distancing/hygiene guidelines; increase use of virtual interactions
g. Leave home infrequently
h. Social interactions in groups of 20 or fewer
How does this apply to Moab Baptist Church?
1. We continue to live-stream all church services: Sundays at 10 AM, 11 AM, 6:30 PM, and Wednesdays at 7 PM
2. For the next several services (at least until Wednesday, May 6, probably to Sunday, May 10 – Mother’s Day), in-house church services are limited to around 20 attendees (my decision).  Be sure to call the church to reserve your seat.
3. “Things” are going to be a bit different as we start meeting– but we at least get to start worshipping the Lord together!
4. Sunday school and Bible classes for teenagers and younger are NOT meeting (probably until June – this is always subject to change).  Pastor Howe teaches all attendees during the 10 AM service.
5. Children’s Church during the 11 AM service is NOT meeting (probably until June – this is always subject to change).
6. The church’s nursery is NOT staffed; however, if parents or family members need to utilize it, they may.
7. The Glory Grind Coffee Stop (a perpetual fundraiser by the Slickrock Teen Bible Class) is NOT open on Sunday mornings until further notice.
8. Our church continues to be cleaned and sanitized weekly AND between Sunday’s morning and evening services.
9. Additional seating is available throughout the auditorium – please “spread out”.
10. Family/ household units need to sit together, and maintaining at least 6’ from others.
11. You will be warmly greeted; however, handshaking and hugging should not be done (try a vigorous a wave instead, or a hearty “howdy”, or, as in Kelly’s case, a full-body wag).
12. The offering plates are available, but not passed; a locked giving box is located inside the back door of the church.
13. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.
14. Hand sanitizer is available; however, consider bringing your own too.
15. If you are not feeling well, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE watch the services online.
16. If you are in that vulnerable or high-risk age category (65 and older) or are in the immunocompromised category, for your safety, consider watching the services online.
17. Tuesday’s Men’s Maintenance Meeting and the Ladies Coffee Time – both at 10 AM – resume.  All attendees are to follow the appropriate social distancing guidelines; neither are to exceed 20 attendees.
Pertaining to out-of-town visitors:
We are GLAD, thrilled really, to see you in Moab!  Due to the interesting nature of these present days, we’re respectfully asking that you reschedule a visit to Moab Baptist Church the next time you’re in town OR watch our services online.  We haven’t met as a church family for several weeks (almost 2 months), and must “work out” the social guidelines and ministry aspects of our church services to make it more conducive for practical ministry.  Thank you for understanding!  If you need anything, or have some questions about this, you’re invited to contact the church office – we’d love to hear from you.
I’m excited for this new “phase”.  I’m thankful for your faithfulness and love for the Lord.  Let’s all continue to pray for each other, our church’s ministry, the City of Moab, Grand County, the State of Utah – especially Governor Herbert – and the United States of America!
Your friend,
Pastor Howe
Moab Baptist Church
Moab, Utah